Cleomenes of Naucratis in Pseudo-Aristotle's Oeconomica and the Topoi of the Ancient Egyptian Propaganda
The article considers the evidence on Cleomenes of Naucratis – chief financial administrator and actual governor of Egypt under Alexander the Great (332-323 B.C.). Special attention is given to the evidence of Pseudo-Aristoteles’ Oeconomica about Cleomenes’ getting bribes from Egyptians for his decisions not to hunt the sacred crocodiles (([Arist.] Oec. II. 33b), not to resettle to Alexandria the residents of the region of the Canopic mouth of the Nile (id. 33c), and not to close a greater part of Egyptian temples (id. 33f). This evidence seems to be inspired by the standard topoi of the Egyptian propaganda in the 4th century B.C., which would normally be directed against the foreign or impious rulers of the country of the highest, royal, status (ascribing to Cleomenes sacrilege against the sacred animals, in a plausible parallel to the Classical tradition on the invasion of Artaxerxes III in Egypt and to the plot of “Seth’s return to Egypt” in the mythological Book of Victory over Seth; ascribing to him the intention to menace to stop the temple ritual, as it has been also said about Pharaoh Tachos, considered as an impious ruler in Egyptian tradition); thus, these plots must have been intended to represent unfavourably not only Cleomenes but also Alexander standing behind him and were probably consequently re-used by the propaganda of the satrap Ptolemy.